ARTCORE in Casper sponsors the Music & Poetry Series. It features a performance by a musician or music group and a reading/performance by a poet or prose writer. On Monday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m., at Metro Coffee Company, 241 S. David, the series features Chad Lore on guitar and vocals and me as the prose writer. Usually, the musician takes turns with the writer -- 20 minutes of deathless prose followed by 20 minutes of fine music. Intermission for caffeinated beverages. Then 20 more minutes or prose and the warm summer night wraps up with music, as it should.
Get a preview of Chad's music by going here and here. You can preview my writing by reading many years worth of blogging on this site. That consists mainly of snatches of memoir and humor interspersed with liberal political musings. I rarely include fiction on my blog because I still am skittish about publishing my work online before it is published in book form. I published my first book of short stories with a small publisher and, for the past two years, I have been pitching my second book to small and medium-sized publishers with no success. Short stories are not always welcome fare at the offices of publishers. I sit down to chat with industry professionals at writing conferences to discuss my work. The conversation usually goes something like this:
Me: "I write short stories."
Publisher gives me a look usually reserved for poets, English majors and plague victims -- a combination of pity and boredom. Their response usually is this: "We don't do short stories" or "Short short collections don't sell."
Publisher: "Do you have a novel?"
Me (lying): "Yes."
Publisher smiles: "Send me a synopsis and a couple of chapters."
I don't. I could, I suppose, as I have several novel manuscripts propping open doors and serving as foot rests. But they are ancient history, written when I was learning how to write and then abandoned for other projects. I don't even have electronic versions, as they were written on ancient mechanical devices, such as the Smith-Corona portable typewriter and the first of many electronic typewriter/word processors. I could scan them and then proof them with my eagle-eyed editing. But I'd rather write.
What will I bee reading Monday night? Come to Metro Coffee and find out. It will be short, as in short story. If you see me carrying in a huge manuscript, don't worry -- I like to prop up my feet while listening to music.